Baghdadi raid video released as Pentagon reveals Isis leader 'fired from his hideout'

'This was a true inter-agency effort so I commend our partners across the US government'

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 30 October 2019 22:25
Delta Force commandos raiding Baghdadi compound

The US Defence Department has released the first images and videos of the special forces raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Isis terror group, in Syria.

In the videos, around a half dozen American troops can be seen approaching the compound, which is protected on the outside by walls that the US forces then blasted open.

The death of Baghdadi was announced on Sunday by Donald Trump, who claimed the Isis leader whimpered before taking his own life with an explosion in a tunnel dug within the compound. Special forces then picked through the rubble left behind by the collapsed tunnel to identify the terrorist's body.

American officials say that six enemy fighters were killed during the special forces raid, while 11 children were safely removed from the house. Two children were reportedly killed during the operation.

"This operation was exquisitely planned and executed. It demonstrates the United States' global reach and our unwavering commitment to destroy Isis," said general Frank McKenzie, following the raid.

An image released by the US defence department showing the compound where Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid by US special forces, before (left) and after the attack
Footage released by the US defence department shows US special forces storming a compound in Syria where they killed Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

"This was a true inter-agency effort so I commend our partners across the US government," he continued.

The raid came just weeks after Mr Trump announced the US was pulling its troops out of northern Syria, leading to concerns for the safety of American allied Kurds there who had helped fight back Isis.

As it turns out, the US operation was aided at least in part by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who a State Department official said played a key role" in the raid.

"He, his people, and his intelligence sources, played a key role in all of this," the official said, referring to SDF commander general Mazloum Abdi. "It's a very, very important role. Nobody should underestimate how key the SDF was in all of this."

Just days after the raid, Mr Trump announced on Tuesday that the US had also killed Baghdadi's "number one replacement" to take over Isis.

"Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's number one replacement has been terminated by American troops," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter. "Most likely would have taken the top spot — Now he is also Dead!"

Mr Trump has also fuelled praise for the for a K-9 that was injured during the Baghdadi raid, and even went so far as to post a joking tweet of himself giving the dog the medal of honour.

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